Samsung has just announced via press release its plans to officially update its Galaxy S line of phones (yep, including North American ones) to Gingerbread starting this week, with the UK and Scandinavian countries first on the list to get the Ginger-bump. Samsung has again remained characteristically ambiguous about exactly which Galaxy S devices will be eligible (and when) for the update directly from Kies, Samsung's device management software.

It's entirely unclear if "North American" Galaxy S phones include the heavily carrier-customized versions of the device in the United States (Captivate, Fascinate, Vibrant, Epic), or merely unbranded Canadian versions of the phone and European imports that have snuck their way onto US shores. Additionally, Samsung has said that North American market devices will be getting the update "according to the regional plan." That sounds so reassuring. Given Samsung's reputation for timeliness on Android OS updates, we certainly aren't counting our chickens before they've hatched on this one.

Frankly, I don't understand why Samsung doesn't specify with a little more concreteness exactly which Galaxy S devices this announcement concerns, because for all we know, this release could be totally irrelevant to 99% of Galaxy S devices in the US. Still, there's a solid chance it does refer to the Galaxy S devices most of our readers would be concerned with, so we thought it was worth informing you all.

We've already seen leaked Gingerbread builds for the Galaxy S from Europe, as well as reports of Gingerbread on the Galaxy Tab - which the announcement also includes among its list of devices that will be getting updated. See the full press release, below:

Samsung Offers Android 2.3 'Gingerbread' Upgrade for GALAXY S and GALAXY Tab
SEOUL--(Korea Newswire) May 16, 2011 -- Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a global leader in Android™ mobile devices, today announced the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) upgrade to the Samsung GALAXY S, GALAXY Tab, and GALAXY Ace/Gio/Fit/mini, giving users enhanced performance and an improved user interface.

The GALAXY S and GALAXY Tab are Samsung's intelligently designed smart devices with 1 GHz application processors, giving users an intuitive, immersive and integrated mobile experience.

The upgrade from Froyo 2.2 to Gingerbread 2.3 offers an even greater user experience, with features including:
· Faster Performance – Multimedia content now has a lower CPU consumption rate, while support for more powerful 3D Graphics enables an enhanced mobile gaming experience.
· Upgraded Usability – The user interface has been improved, enabling faster access and control and a more intuitive user experience. Users will also benefit from improved copy-and-paste functionality.

The Android 2.3 upgrade will start with GALAXY S in the UK and Nordic countries from mid-May, and gradually rolled out to other European markets, North America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East Asia, Africa and rest of the world according to the regional plan.

The upgrade will be available via Kies, Samsung's device management software. Kies can be downloaded from Samsung's corporate website (http://www.samsung.com).

Engadget